It might have been one of the most impressive second-place races in the history of the state swim meet.
Boulder junior Amanda Richey turned in a stellar performance at the Class 5A finals last month, highlighting her meet with a personal-best time in the 500-yard freestyle that also earned Richey automatic All-American honors.
While Richey had the unfortunate circumstance of racing against Regis Jesuit Olympian Missy Franklin, who won the 500 by more than 13 seconds over Richey while establishing a new state record, Richey dominated what essentially was a race for second place. For her stellar run, Richey has been named the BoCoPreps.com girls swimmer of the year.
“Having Missy in the race definitely pushed me to get my best time,” Richey said. “It’s always fun to go against her. When I swim the 500, I really try not to think about the time I’m putting together. To be honest, I just kind of go with the flow.”
Richey certainly was not the only viable candidate for swimmer of the year honors. Yet her All-American effort in the 500 set her apart.
The junior turned in a time of 4 minutes, 54.98 seconds to outpace third-place finisher Madeline Myers of Ralston Valley by 2.59 seconds. Richey also placed sixth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:52.98.
Richey’s haul increased her individual medal count to six during her prep career. Richey placed sixth in the 500 and seventh in the 200 as a sophomore. At the state meet during her freshman season two years ago, Richey finished seventh in the IM and also placed second in the 500.
With swimmers, progress is marked by their times instead of where they might place in a race, and Richey clearly has put together an impressive trajectory. Her second-place time in the 500 as a freshman was 5:03.82 — almost 9 full seconds slower than her second-place mark in that event last month.
As she begins her college recruiting process in earnest, Richey hopes that trajectory continues all the way toward a state title at the end of her senior season next year.
“I’m pretty excited about next year, but I try not to think that far ahead,” Richey said. “I have a lot of meets still upcoming over the summer. But that (state title) certainly is the goal next year. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
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